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EDWARDSVILLE - A moving vigil was held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, to honor six who perished approximately a week before, after a tornado smashed into the Amazon Warehouse and part of the wall collapsed.
The names were read to the group in the tribute. The six the tribute was in memory of was as follows:
Deandre S. Morrow, 28, of Belleville, Illinois.
Kevin D. Dickey, 62, of Carlyle, Illinois.
Clayton Lynn Cope, 29, of Alton, Illinois.
Etheria S. Hebb, 34, of Troy, Missouri.
Larry E. Virden, 46, of Collinsville, Illinois.
Austin J. McEwen, 26, of Edwardsville, Illinois.
Rep. Cori Bush provided a strong message at the event.
Bush, with deep passion, said: “I am leading an effort with Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to call on Amazon to explain what happened which is what they were supposed to do and didn’t do. We are asking for answers. If they won’t hand the answers over, we will do it a different way. Justice has to be lives saved and this can’t happen again.
“As we call their names we need to realize they were all people and should not have loved ones crying out for them here. To the families and loved ones of every single person who lost their lives in this it was an avoidable and preventable tragedy.”
Extraordinary vocalist Lydia Caesar led the crowd on special music. The highlight of her music was the song “We Shall Overcome” that ended the vigil. State Senator Christopher Belt also spoke and offered condolences to the family.
Rev. Darryl Gray led the group gathered in prayer and also spoke. Rev. John Stratton also offered power prayer and thoughts on the situation that had occurred just a fee ahead the week before after the EF-3 tornado hit the warehouse.
“We are here to remember those who died here in the tornado and to support them through this midnight hour,” he said. “We also want to call to attention to what we believe are problems in the warehouse of the working environment and proper safety protocol.”
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